Monday, 18 February 2013

BALANCING ACT: Actress Carol Campbell talks theatre, raising her son, and getting re-married

MADE IN THE SHADE: Campbell attends Saturday's thanksgiving service for Dr. Heather Little-White in Kingston.

Sassy, warm-spirited and utterly classy, actress Carol Campbell has made a career out of playing conflicted and sometimes downright dangerous women – from the titular matriarch in Glory to Gloriana to the scheming temptress Jennifer Chambers on the long-running The Blackburns of Royal Palm Estate. But even Campbell (currently based in Delaware) knows there’s much more to art and life than portraying bad girls. Naturally, she’s set her sights on taking her game to yet another level. She just needs to see her son off to college first. 

TALLAWAH: Carol, it’s been ages since we last spoke. Bring us up to speed on your latest endeavours. 
Campbell: Actually, I’m here in Jamaica working on When the Cat’s Away with Pablo Hoilett. It’s an old play; I think it ran for like 15 years. But they have now revamped it, and we’re currently rehearsing. But it won’t be opening in Jamaica. We’re taking it to St. Vincent and then going to St. Kitts shortly after. 

What’s the nature of the character you’re portraying? Who is she? 
I like her. She’s a bit different, a very uppity and self-centred bi-atch (Laughs). She looks down on her sister, played by Suzette Barrett, whom I just met. 

So how do you feel about bringing the heat to the stage again? 
I really like doing theatre, even though this is my second production. It’s exciting to get back up on stage. I enjoy both theatre and television, and I’m just blessed to be working with two awesome directors in my career right now – Lennie Little-White and Pablo Hoilett. 

You’ve been working with Lennie and the crew on The Blackburns since its incarnation as Royal Palm Estate. What did you make of the transition? 
It didn’t change much for me because the character has remained very much the same. But I like that they have brought back cast members from years ago, from the original Royal Palm Estate. I like that. 

When it comes to the road untravelled, what’s left for you to achieve? 
There’s a lot more I want to accomplish as an actress, but first I have to finish raising my son. He’s 15 now. The acting world is very demanding, so I have to get him off to college first before I take it to that next level. Just a couple more years. 

Speaking of family, I heard that you got re-married sometime ago to the same man. That’s so interesting! 
(Laughs) Yeah, we first got married in 1998, divorced in 2005, and we just re-married in 2011. 

What inspired you to go for a second shot at it, six years later? 
Mainly family reasons, and he’s the father of my child. So we decided to compromise and make it work this time. 

How do you define yourself as a woman? 
I am a wife and mother first, and then I’m an actress.

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